The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Intro and getting started..

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taramills's picture
taramills

Intro and getting started..

Hi from [not so] sunny Australia,

Have been a passionate cook and baker for a few years but have not yet taken the step to making my own sourdough bread.  Im really keen to get my own starter established.  I've recently discovered the weekendbakery site which has given me the inspiration to get going. The guys use 100% wholemeal rye organic flour.  I have white and wholemeal organic flour , but not rye, should i wait and use rye instead? Sounds like it could be easier to maintain.  Thank you.
PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

I just use unbleached white flour and water and within a week or so, it's good to go.  Welcome from sunny and hot Montreal!

taramills's picture
taramills

Hi Paddy L, is there a reason why you don't use rye flour in your starters? I'm really into the chewy sourdough with that beautiful hard crust, similar to the  miche loaves. Am i right in thinking that rye flour is used to create the chewy depth in the bread? Apologies in advance if i've got it totally wrong!  

ananda's picture
ananda

Hi Tara,

no, you are not wrong that rye flour does bring a greater chewiness to the type of loaves you are so fond of [and me too].

But for that close textured moist chewiness you are seeking, there can be other ways you can achieve this whilst you continue your search for rye.

If you add boiling water to a portion of your bread flour you will gelatinise the starch, and as the starch molecules burst and expand, they will take up a lot of extra water.   Don't go too heavy with the portion of flour you use for this process, as the flip side is that the proteins are de-natured, so you have a loss of gluten content to deal with.   However, the resulting bread will give you the textures I describe above.

Unfortunately, you won't get the magnificent flavours which some of us crave in our use of rye sourdoughs to leaven breads.   But you have to find really good organic rye flour for this; dark and thirsty!

Best wishes

Andy

ps. Welcome to TFL

jcking's picture
jcking

Unless you're planning to make a lot of high percentage rye bread go with AP flour to keep things simple. After you've played with a simple SD starter then you might think of going Whole Wheat or Rye.

Jim

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

It's not that easy to come by where I live, I'd have to buy it specially and I don't make that much rye bread to justify simply using it in a starter.  I've heard that it gives starters extra life, but I've had great success with plain old white starters which can be used for whole wheat or rye breads.  And at this stage, I don't want to mess with a good thing!

taramills's picture
taramills

Thank you all for your great advice.  I was going to wait for my new bread books to arrive  but i think i'll give it a go and see what happens!